Extron Stakes their IP Flag!

In the November edition of rAVe Ed I wrote about video over IP taking the next step.  In it I wrote about Crestron’s release of their DMCO streaming cards.  Rather than re-writing it all here, go take a look at the column.  Oh, and leave a comment about what you think.

extron-vn250

While you are reading the edition of rAVe Ed take a moment and go beyond my column.  You will see a new article about Extron’s VN Matrix 250.  Guess what it is?  A video over IP product.  Hmmm…. maybe I was on to something in that column.  Although it maybe seem like Gary, Sara and I planned my article coming out with that Extron announcement, we didn’t.

I was truly excited to see this announcement from Extron because I think it shows the company is taking a serious, thoughtful look at the future.  One knock that people make on Extron is that they take too long to come out with forward looking, next generation product.  A big advantage of this for Extron has been that when they do release a product, it works well.  They don’t beta test their equipment on end users

Anyhow, I digress.  This product is the future.  It can take HDMI or RGB signals and pass them over a standard IP network.    Read the other features that the product has.  Along with some useful networking management tools, it also will carry USB, and can unicast or multi-cast.  They don’t list a price on their web page (which can never be a good thing $$$$$), so I can not report an MSRP.  But, in a lot of ways, the cost does not matter right now.  The important thing is that Extron is showing up to this video over IP party.  In fact, they have been at the party for a long time.  Remember back in 2010 when Extron bought the products division of Electrosonics. Well, that technology, PURE3 Codec, is what is being used in this device.   Did Extron see this change coming three years ago, and make a quiet but serious step toward being the leader in this technology?

If Extron, over the next year, can find a way to make this product affordable to the masses, it could really draw a lot of customers to their company.  Think about the advantages of video over IP.   What would the possibilities be if all of your AV pathways, were actually network connections?  What if you could transmit a video signal across buildings and campuses, with ease?  What if every network connection that exists in your facilities today was possibly a source or a sink?  I am not sure that we can think of all the possibilities right now, but it will change what we do.

This product, for me, is even a step forward from what Crestron does with their DMCO card.  Why? First of all, it is a free standing product.  You can use this as part of any install you have.  Or, as a stand alone, it does not need to be in an install.  Second, it is carrying the USB signals and RS-232 signals.    This product has incredible potential in the boardroom, classroom and even digital signage.  Now, I just have to figure out how to get my hand on one.